“What are your fitness goals?”
That’s one of the first questions my fitness trainer asked me.
I quickly said that I wanted to tone, tighten, increase strength and lose weight, which actually
translates to looking good and feeling fabulous!
“If a stronger, leaner body
is your goal,
there is nothing quite
like resistance training to
help reshape your body.”
If the purpose of your fitness program is to get a stronger and leaner body then there is nothing
quite like resistance training to assist in reshaping your body.
There are various types of resistance training programs but they all center around the use of
weights, machines or your own body weight to add resistance
to a workout routine.
This additional resistance forces the body to grow and at the same time, burn fat.
Depending on what results you are after, resistance training can be used to develop a bigger
body, as you might see with bodybuilders, or it can be used solely to gain strength without
the focus on weight gain.
Naturally this weight gain would be lean muscle but there are some people who have no
desire to gain additional muscle size.
Have No Fear
Many women are reluctant to enter into a resistance-training program for fear that
they might develop big muscles and lose their femininity.
This does not have to be the outcome of a resistance-training program.
Resistance can be used just as effectively to reduce body weight in the form of fat and
also to create a leaner and sexier body.
“Resistance training is one of the
fastest ways to reshape your body
no matter what your goals are.”
Fortunately more people are realizing that resistance training is one of the fastest ways to
reshape a body no matter what your goals are.
In addition to the reshaping of your body and the reduction of body fat that comes about
from a successful resistance-training program, there is the added benefit of better aerobic
Aids Aerobic Fitness, Too
Some people are still of the mistaken belief that resistance training does not help with aerobic
fitness but this is not true.
A good resistance-training program will also help with aerobic fitness.
It really depends on the amount of energy you exert during your exercise routines and by simply
adding speed to your routine you will be increasing your aerobic fitness.
That speed can be in the time it takes to perform an exercise or by reducing or eliminating the rest
time between exercises.
How Resistance Training Works
Resistance training, through the use of weights, machines, or your own body weight, forces
the cells of the body to adapt to the extra loads that are being applied.
The cells are broken down during this exercise process and become stronger when they are
given time to recover.
Unless there is sufficient time for the body to recover from this resistance, it will become
over-trained and consequently there will be a stop, or even a reduction in the benefits that one
This is one of the reasons why many beginners plateau after training for a short period
of time and fail to see the progress that they enjoyed initially.
They are essentially over-training by not allowing their cells sufficient time to recover
from the exercise.
By constantly breaking down the cells during exercise and not allowing them to recover they become
fatigued and don’t have the opportunity to grow.
“If you are just getting started,
it is better to start off with lighter
weights and/or easier exercises
using only your body weight.”
It is a simple process to solve this problem once you understand what is happening.
Unlike the action most people take by training harder and harder to get the gains they were once
getting, they should actually reduce the workload slightly or allow for longer periods of rest or
Until the body has adapted to a new regime of resistance training it is better to start off with
lighter weights and/or easier exercises using only your body weight.
It is also wise to have longer rest periods between each exercise and also between the days
that you are working out.
Once you have trained in this manner for a while you will be able to increase the workout
intensity and start making noticeable gains.
“Make sure to have longer rest
periods between each exercise
and also between the days that
you are working out when
you first start out.”
Your body will soon become accustomed to the exercise and this in turn will make you less
likely to suffer from any injuries.
A Sample Resistance Workout
Here’s what one of this week’s resistance sessions with my fitness trainer, Tre,
1. Kettlebell Squats – 12kg – 26 lbs – 15 reps
2. Kettlebell Stiff Leg Dead Lifts – 12kg – 26 lbs – 15 reps
3. Leg Step Up with Resistance Band Kick Backs – 12 reps
4. 2 Rounds of Stairs
5. Airex Pad Single Leg Balance Curl Press – 7.5 lbs – 6 reps each leg
6. Bicycle – 60 seconds
7. Cable Chest Press – 55 lbs – 12 reps
8. Cable Pull Downs – 100 lbs – 12 reps
9. Bench Ab Crunches – 20 reps
10. Side Bends – 20 lbs dumb bell – 12 reps each side
(3 sets each exercise)
Post-Workout Protein Power Punch
Of course, after our session, my trainer reminded me to ingest some protein before
moving on to any other exercises.
Ingesting protein is a good way to increase lean mass and improve performance.
Because of that sound advice, I usually carry some form of protein with me, or know
where to grab some, when I am going to the gym.
Whether I have nuts, seeds, protein snacks or protein drinks, there is usually some
type of protein to snack on in my backpack.
I prefer plant-based protein so that’s the kind of protein I reach for.
Fortunately, I have found some great plant-based protein powders, so I often whip
up a protein smoothie such as this one and carry it in my thermos.
Peanut Butter Protein Power Smoothie
1 cup almond or hemp milk
1 banana – frozen
1 cup organic berries – frozen
1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
2 scoops of Orgain organic protein powder
1 tablespoons hemp seeds or hemp hearts
1 tablespoons flax seed powder
Add ingredients to your high speed blender.
Blend until smooth.
Drink some immediately.
Pour the balance into a thermos and toss into gym bag.
If I don’t have time to make one in advance, I make sure to identify a few healthy,
reliable juice and smoothie spots from which to buy a fresh, protein-packed drink.
I also try to remember toss my handy glass eco-jar with a stainless steel straw
into my bag to avoid using plastic and to get a discount on my drink.
Are you incorporating resistance training into your fitness regime?
What are your workouts like?
Do you include protein snacks or smoothies as part of your
health and fitness routine?
What works for you?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.